Hearing loss and balance dysfunction affect millions of people world-wide, with the most common underlying reason being the irreversible loss of specialized sensory hair cells that transmit information about hearing and balance. Our lab aims to identify what molecular pathways can be manipulated to stimulate hair cell regeneration in mammals following injury, ultimately restoring hearing and balance.
We study regeneration in the context of injury models of the hearing and balance organs. By leveraging cutting edge computational tools, combined with systems biology approaches and in vivo lineage tracing, we decipher mechanisms of mammalian hair cell regeneration.
Areas of research focus
1. Mitotic regeneration in the inner ear: Using an in vivo hair cell ablation model combined with single cell RNA seq and lineage tracing experiments, we aim to gain an in-depth understanding of mitotic hair cell and supporting cell regeneration.
2. Development: We seek to learn the developmental cues that are responsible for patterning of the inner ear organs. Our goal is to determine how we can use developmental cues to arrive at regenerative therapies.
3. In vivo inner ear injury model development: We look to develop an in vivo viral injury model and leverage single cell RNA seq tools to study the inner ear's response to viral transfection. This is a clinically relevant topic in the context of cytomegalovirus and inner ear gene therapy.
4. Translational: We are interested in leveraging our ability to access human inner ear tissues with cutting edge discoveries made in our mammalian mouse models.
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